FKB’s Rachel Aghassi and Spencer A. Richards successfully obtain Pre-Answer dismissal of a complaint asserting legal malpractice in Bronx County, Supreme Court, against FKB’s client, a prominent trademark attorney, arising out of an underlying trademark infringement dispute against a third party.
The plaintiff alleged that FKB’s client committed legal malpractice because FKB’s client failed to prosecute the underlying trademark action, failed to obtain a settlement, and failed to timely submit discovery, which resulted in the loss of a valuable trademark for the plaintiff’s business to the third party. FKB moved to dismiss the Complaint arguing, among other things, that the plaintiff cannot plead proximate cause for legal malpractice because the plaintiff would not have won the trademark action. To support the proximate cause argument, FKB submitted documentary evidence showing that the third party already registered the trademark prior to the plaintiff.
In dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint, the court (Hon. Lucindo Suarez, J.S.C.) agreed with FKB’s argument that the plaintiff failed to allege proximate cause for legal malpractice. Specifically, the court determined that the plaintiff cannot allege that the plaintiff would have been successful in the trademark action “absent any conduct or omission” of FKB’s client.